Reading Time: 5 mins The mass exodus of migrant workers to their native villages following the temporary closing down of industries in urban areas to curb the COVID-19 outbreak has increased the demand for employment in Rural India. This situation creates a new opportunity to improve the rural economy by employing such population in infrastructure development and other vital government projects like waste management and improving access to water in rural India. To utilise this opportunity, the government had launched Gram Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan in select states. However, the new initiative has diluted the role of MGNREGS, another similar but comprehensive rural employment generation scheme.
Reading Time: 4 mins Recently, the Central government decided to suspend the Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme for two years in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. It sought to garner around 7,900 crores by suspending the scheme for the fight against the corona crisis. Following this, few state governments decided to suspend their MLALAD schemes too. This decision attracted diverse commentary by media and civil society.
Reading Time: 6 mins
According to the latest statistics, about 25% of the Indian population belongs to the rural poor. Women make up one-third of the Indian labour force. However, social constraints have prevented them from having access to and making use of the available resources that may help them improve their living conditions. Self Help Group is seen by many as the catalyst for rural development, women and social empowerment. Its importance in the Indian economy is seen through many success stories like production of 13 different bioagents to support organic farming by Sabari Swasraya Sanghom of Nellarachal tribal hamlet, Kudumbashree SHG, etc. They are not only inspirational but also the obvious solutions to the existing socio-economic problems of India.
Reading Time: 6 mins The Union Budget allotted over Rs.80,000 crore for the up-gradation of 1.25 lakh km roads under the phase III of the PMGSY. This government initiative has greatly enhanced India’s rural population’s standard of living and is one of the significant steps towards inclusive economic growth. Not only is this scheme intending to promote inclusive growth but is also taking into account the need for sustainability of the environment by making use of green technology while constructing the road. Under the first two phases of PMGSY, a total of 1.25 lakh km of rural roads have been built across various villages in the country. The government has set a target to construct 7, 000 km of roads under this initiative during 2019-20. This scheme as a whole, until now, has brought in a significant improvement in ease of living for India’s very large rural population.
Reading Time: 8 mins Housing is one of the basic requirements of human survival. Normal citizen owning a house provides significant economic and social security status in society. For a shelter-less person, a house with basic necessity brings about a profound change in his existence, endowing him with an identity, thus integrating him with his immediate social milieu. With this in mind, the government had launched Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana in 2015 to provide housing for all by 2022. Numerous challenges are faced by the government while undertaking this momentous scheme. These need to be addressed for this vision to be implemented within the deadline.
Reading Time: 7 mins In recent years, India has charted a unique path to digitization, the impact of which is inclusive, empowering and transformative. It is amongst the top two countries globally, only after China on many dimensions of digital adoption. By 2022, India’s digital economy may cross $1 trillion. This was the focus of India Digital Summit 2019 that was held in New Delhi. Since its launch, it has transformed India significantly. However, it is facing numerous challenges in the current times and the government needs to take steps to make it successful for the inclusiveness and empowerment of all Indian citizens.
Reading Time: 6 mins
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is a labour law that provides “Right to Work” to the rural population. It not only provides work but also has the potential to improve the infrastructure of rural India and standard of living of the rural population. However, in recent times, this Act is facing numerous issues at the ground-level. This is also contributing to India’s current economic slowdown and unemployment crisis. Therefore, the government must take measures to promote this scheme for the overall economic development of the nation.
Reading Time: 4 mins While listing out the achievements of the government in social welfare measures, President Ram Nath Kovind recently mentioned that, under the Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana, 6 crore women had become members of self-help groups and the government had provided loans worth over Rs 75,000 crore to such groups.
Reading Time: 4 mins The ambitious Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, better known as “Saubhagya” scheme, for universal household electrification is all set to achieve its goal soon with only about 28,000 households left to be electrified all over the country. On the other hand, criticisms have been pouring across the country regarding the scheme’s inability to solve some of the grey areas in the power sector.